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BY JEFF FALK

ELIZABETHTOWN – Motivation and euphoria. Shock and despair.

It can get emotional when you’re fighting for survival. The Lebanon boys’ basketball team experienced both ends of that emotional spectrum last evening.

On Tuesday night at Elizabethtown High School – in a game they desperately had to have – the Cedars endured a heartbreaking 61-58 loss to the hometown Bears. With the score knotted at 58, Elizabethtown won it on Brody Beach’s desperation three-pointer at the buzzer, after Lebanon had rallied from a number of double-digit deficits in the second half.

Beach nailed his game-winner from the left corner, after the long rebound of a previous three-point attempt had been tapped out to him. The Cedars had assumed a 58-56 edge on a Luke Collins free throw with 1:24 remaining, before the Bears’ Ryan Parise drained a couple of foul shots 13 seconds later to tie it.

After trailing by as many as 13 points early in the third quarter, Lebanon took its first lead of the evening, 55-54 on a Collins’ three-pointer, with 3:51 to go. The Cedars spent most of the second half in a frantic catch-up mode, and during their comeback bid they were forced to overcome three technical fouls whistled against them.

“Yes, we played better in the second half,” said Lebanon head coach Tim Speraw. “We made some adjustments at halftime. We gathered ourselves. It’s just not right what happened. This is a product of the officiating crisis, plain and simple. There was someone out there who shouldn’t have been in a game of this magnitude. This is the situation we’re in. I’m asking people who know basketball to please become officials.

“I’ll be perfectly honest with you, one of the technical fouls was deserved,” continued Speraw. “The other two resulted from a lack of experience. It is what it is. The two words were ‘That’s weak’, and two people got technicals for it. It just shouldn’t happen. It takes away from what our kids did tonight.”

The outcome was devastating, perhaps crippling, to the Cedars’ postseason hopes. With two regular season games remaining, Lebanon, now 11-9 overall and 6-5 in Section Two of the Lancaster-Lebanon League, is two games behind E-town for the section’s final league playoff spot.

In the latest power rankings, Lebanon was positioned 16th in an AAAAAA classification that takes 12 teams for its District Three tournament.

The triumph pushed Elizabethtown to 14-6 on the year and 8-3 in Section Two. Back on January 10, the Bears scored a 63-46 decision at Lebanon.

“It comes off the rim and 5-7 Luke Collins was ready to grab it,” said Speraw of the final play. “And 6-4 Elijah Eberly jumped on him, tipped it to another guy (Beach) and he made it. Sometimes that’s the way the ball bounces. But it would’ve been nice to play four more minutes to decide it.”

Lebanon played the entire second half with a purpose.

For a stretch of 11:19 spanning the third and fourth quarters, the Cedars outscored the Bears 29-15, turning a 39-26 deficit into a one-point edge. During that extended run, the Lebanon offense moved the ball smartly and produced nine points for Collins and five for Marquis Ferreira.

Six of the Elizabethtown points during that stretch were the results of the three techincals.

“I thought we played well,” said Speraw. “We had our mistakes. I couldn’t be more proud of the kids right now, the way they came together, despite the things that happened on the court that were out of our control. My kids did not deserve to lose, plain and simple. They did not deserve to be on the short end of that score.

“It was tough,” added Speraw. “The kids put everything out there. I didn’t go deep into the bench tonight. Some of those kids never came off the court.”

The Cedars’ scoring reflected the team work they employed to get back into the game. Collins collected 17 points, Ferreira contributed 12 points and Isaiah Rodriguez added ten.

For E-town, Parise pumped in a game-high 25 points.

The Bears made 16 of their 18 charity tosses and outscored the Cedars by ten points there. Lebanon scored 24 of its total points from beyond the arc.

“We were taking this like a playoff game,” said Speraw. “I’m pleased with how they (his players) came to play. I think there was a sense of urgency.

“We’ve got to play Friday,” Speraw continued. “It’s not getting any easier. We’ll need help. All we can control are the things we can control.”

Elizabethtown closed the opening period on a 7-3 spurt to open a 20-13 advantage. Lebanon got back-to-back three-pointers from Pena in the middle of the second stanza to creep within 28-24 of the lead.

But the Bears finished the half with a 9-2 run and a 37-26 advantage at the break.

“At the beginning of the season, I thought we’d have a good shot at the playoffs,” said Speraw. “I didn’t think we’d be set to make them. I knew we had to work hard to make them. We lost a bunch of games by two or three points, and that’s been the difference.”

To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

2019-20 Lebanon Boys’ Basketball Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
12/06
7:30 pm
Elco
Lebanon
at Lebanon
57
53

Nonleague
12/07
TBD
Red Land
at Lebanon
39
70

Nonleague
12/10
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Governor Mifflin
53
60

Nonleague
12/13
7:30 pm
McCaskey
at Lebanon
63
61

League
12/16
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
55
57

League
12/18
7:30 pm
Hempfield
at Lebanon
47
51

League
12/20
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Penn Manor
58
53

League
12/27
6:00 pm
Emmaus
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
61
69

Nonleague
12/28
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
49
59

Nonleague
1/03
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Ephrata
59
22

League
1/04
6:00 pm
Palmyra
Lebanon
at Lebanon Valley College
41
42

Nonleague
1/06
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Manheim Township
58
56

League
1/10
7:30 pm
Elizabethtown
at Lebanon
63
46

League
1/11
3:00 pm
Conrad Weiser
Lebanon
at Garden Spot
48
49

Nonleague
1/14
7:30 pm
Warwick
at Lebanon
69
50

League
1/16
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Conestoga Valley
60
50

League
1/20
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Garden Spot
52
48

Nonleague
1/21
7:30 pm
Ephrata
at Lebanon
45
56

League
1/25
2:30 pm
Hershey
at Lebanon
68
59

Nonleague
1/28
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Elizabethtown

League
1/31
7:30 pm
Lebanon
at Warwick

League
2/04
7:30 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Lebanon

League

PIAA District Three

Class AAAAAA Power Rankings

AAAAAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Wilson18-1-0 0.844740 0.966140 0.696362 21.4 279.5 0.8 121.9
2Cumberland Valley16-2-0 0.774710 0.928910 0.586244 19.6 217.4 1.5 153.4
3Reading13-4-0 0.771932 0.836512 0.693000 15.4 261.9 3.0 116.0
4Central York16-3-0 0.769888 0.886311 0.627593 19.1 239.1 2.5 141.9
5Cedar Crest17-2-0 0.767195 0.926773 0.572156 20.3 219.3 1.6 164.0
6Central Dauphin13-4-0 0.752384 0.839142 0.646346 15.7 245.5 3.0 134.3
7J P McCaskey12-5-0 0.726362 0.791557 0.646680 15.0 236.2 4.0 129.1
8Warwick14-4-0 0.721216 0.836634 0.580150 16.9 217.2 3.3 157.2
9Governor Mifflin12-7-0 0.709685 0.726817 0.688747 14.5 279.7 5.5 126.4
10Chambersburg Area13-5-0 0.705777 0.801508 0.588774 16.0 215.6 4.0 150.6
11Central Dauphin East10-5-0 0.699682 0.750751 0.637264 12.5 241.3 4.2 137.4
12Harrisburg11-6-0 0.699098 0.747899 0.639453 13.4 236.2 4.5 133.2
13Dallastown11-7-0 0.662592 0.694149 0.624022 13.1 247.3 5.8 149.0
14Exeter Township10-8-0 0.643684 0.645714 0.641202 11.3 256.0 6.2 143.3
15Manheim Township9-8-0 0.642391 0.637982 0.647779 10.8 248.7 6.1 135.2
16Lebanon11-8-0 0.629040 0.672634 0.575758 13.2 227.1 6.4 167.3
17Waynesboro Area9-7-0 0.597218 0.625786 0.562300 10.0 211.2 6.0 164.4
18Penn Manor8-10-0 0.575458 0.552941 0.602979 9.4 236.9 7.6 156.0
19Red Lion8-10-0 0.560481 0.520231 0.609676 9.0 231.3 8.3 148.1
20Carlisle5-13-0 0.518789 0.386792 0.680119 6.2 262.9 9.8 123.7
21HEMPFIELD5-13-0 0.510069 0.374214 0.676114 6.0 273.2 10.0 130.9
22Conestoga Valley5-12-0 0.484711 0.368771 0.626415 5.6 251.9 9.5 150.2
23York County School Of Technology4-12-0 0.326069 0.238994 0.432495 3.8 148.8 12.1 195.3

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section Two Standings

LeagueOverall
WLPCTWLPCTPFPA
Warwick1020.8331540.7891159865
Elizabethtown830.7271460.70013011171
Lebanon650.5451190.55011091067
Conestoga Valley1100.0915140.26310151143
Ephrata0110.0000190.0007201126

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